Virtual Owl Pellets (file to share)

  1. Diane R says:

    I don't teach science, but I remember one year when I had a hoarding student. During fifth grade conferences, it came to my attention that this student kept things under his pillow, including his fourth grade owl pellet. So… yeah.

    Fifth in the Middle

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am a 3rd grade teacher and we dissect owl pellets as part of our Human Body science unit. The Human Body is also covered in 5th grade. I don't particualarly like the smell of the owl pellets, but the students LOVE being able to see what they can find. One bit of advice, make sure you soak the owl pellets overnight before you pass them out. It helps loosen up the hair so the students will have an easier time. It can be rather messy, so you may want to lay down newspaper or something like that over your tables as well. It'll be a lot of fun for you students! Good luck! 🙂

    PS: I can't wait to see what other things you share with this unit. I love the file you posted and will definitely use it when we get to this unit later this year. 🙂


  3. THANKS for the freebie and the site recommendation. We are doing this -the real thing- in a few weeks! Smiles and stop by anytime!

  4. Emily says:

    Thank you! Last year I tackled owl pellets this with my class and they loved it. This year I used the owl pellets as an incentive to raise money for our classroom (field trip and enrichment) and they just raised enough last week. Now I have to order them…

    Just an FYI – they stink! We did it outside on butcher paper with parent helpers using squirt bottles to soften them up. We also used popsicle sticks, opened paper clips, and toothpicks to help break them a part. I didn't have any tweezers.

  5. I attempted owl pellets last week with my second graders. Oh boy what an experience! I had some students get sick because of the smell. I didn't think it was that bad. We ordered ours from I liked the bone chart that came with the kit. It was interesting to see what the owl ate. Good luck with this project this week and as always thanks for the great info and freebie!

  6. I can remember doing this as an elementary school student. It's gross, but fun and educational. Thanks for sharing the freebie. I'm pinning this post on my science board.
    Grade School Giggles

  7. Chrissy says:

    First, you totally made my day! Thank you for stopping by my blog today!

    I've never dissected owl pellets, but I've seen them. VERY interesting! My favorite science activities involve ice and crystals. I'm looking forward to January!

  8. Ms.M says:

    Oh that is such a wonderful site. We don't dissect owl pellets and truth is I do think "ew" but I love the option of doing it on the net. Fab as always.

  9. Molly says:

    This is perfect! Thank you so much for sharing this site and your adorable paper to accompany it!! I have been wanting to do owl pellets with my class for a while. I remember doing it when I was in 7th grade and it was so much fun! Although after reading the comments, I don't remember it spelling badly or being so messy! haha I still want to give it a try though! I'm excited to see how your actual dissections turn out!


  10. Cool! I love dissecting owl pellets with my kiddos. Their personalities always come out, but I've never had a kid who didn't participate or one that didn't think it was awesome! 🙂

    The Science Penguin

  11. I just did owl pellets last week with my fourth graders and posted about it. Since we are learning about the scientific method, I created a sheet for them to become familiar with the process during the owl pellet experiment. I uploaded it free to my TPT so I'll link to that post it if you want to check it out. Have fun with the owl pellets!

    Beach Lovin' Teach

  12. Shawna says:

    Hi Kristen,
    Thanks for the site info! I was just stopping by to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

    The Picture Book Teacher's Edition

  13. Owl pellets are awesome! We did them on Halloween. We had an owl themed day after our parade and this was part of it. My 3rd graders LOVED it!!! They could have picked through those things all day! After they found all the bones we glued them on black paper. It's very cool. I blogged about it. I love the sheet you created! Thanks!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  14. Kristin says:

    I'm wondering if I can tweak this for first grade because I'm super intrigued!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Your kiddos are so lucky to have you!!
    Kristen, I'm thankful for you and all of your support and for always stopping by my blog!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  15. I've done this with my 4th graders many time and they LOVE it. I always make sure I cover their tables with newspaper and give them rubber gloves and toothpicks (that way they don't actually have to touch it!).
    Also, just an FYI, there is a really cool iPad app to virtually dissect owl pellets as well!

  16. ~Stephanie says:

    That is really cool Kristen. To be honest, the owl pellets gross me out so much that I steer clear of them. This might be the way to go!

    Teaching in Room 6

  17. Kelly says:

    That is a really neat site. Since I teach 1st, I passed the info to my daughter's 4th grade teacher. Thanks for the info!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Kelly @ I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

  18. Anonymous says:

    I do this every year when we talk about food chains and food webs. Thanks for sharing the website. There is a picture book that goes along with owl pellets. It is called White Owl, Barn Owl.

  19. Lena L. says:

    Hi, Kristen! I love your website! I've been searching the Internet for ideas to incorporate in my Owl Pellet unit. I'm a sixth grade science teacher. I've dissected owl pellets when I was a fourth grade teacher in another district, but would like to go more in depth with my sixth graders in my current school district. I assigned a persuasive writing element for the students to convince me to dissect owl pellets with them. Some students have seen owl pellets in a museum or on a field trip during a scouting trip, but only for a few minutes. I wanted them to tell me what the benefits would be to dissect owl pellet, in addition to observing the bones, and to study the owl, it's prey and the bones. Once they "persuaded" me, I began with introducing them to the owl with an "Owl Dissection HD" App using our new iPads (we have 6 per classroom). I made a worksheet to go with the videos of the owlette, fledgling and adult owls which related to our Chapter 1 "Populations and Communities" vocabulary. Then, they watched and episode of "Dirty Jobs" by Mike Rowe called "Owl Vomit Collector" which explained the owl pellet's journey from nature to the classroom (I also made a worksheet to go with this). Then we began our dissection. We are now at the point where it's time to identify the prey by identifying the skeleton bones. In addition to this, I will have the students also compare the prey skeleton bones to the human skeleton bones, since some of the names and shape of the bones are similar. I think the students will find this very interesting because I did. Next, the students will construct the skeleton by gluing the bones on construction paper and placing them in a Pringles potato chip can to display (similar to a diorama). The outside of the can may be decorated like an owl. Another idea I had was to build a 3-D stand-up model of the prey with the skeleton bones. I was thinking of doing this with a material similar to Play-doh called Model Magic. This material is softer and lighter than Play-doh and doesn't get dry. We could glue the bones onto the Model Magic. This seems like it would work, in theory, but I'm not sure it would be practical. (I found black and Glow-in-the-Dark Model Magic!) We'll see. Next, we'll go back to the iPad to enter the data related to our Bone Identification. Our data will be averaged into a database across America. Then we can see the results and graph the information to incorporate a Mathematical lesson, as well. As our final demonstration of all the knowledge that the students have learned about populations, communities, owls, adaptations, predator, prey, abiotic, biotic, food webs, etc. we are still searching for an App that will allow us to incorporate video, photographs, music, voice overs, etc. So far we have looked into Animoto,, (iMovie and similar Apps)… My class will be partnering up with a special ed. class to be "lab partners" and will mentor / assist the students with this lab in a couple of weeks, as well. Everyone is absolutely loving every experience that we are having with this unit!!!! Students, teachers, parents and administrators!!!!! I'll check in with your Blog when we are finished. PS When I was shopping around for owl pellets, last year, I did come across a website that did donate owl pellets. They were very generous, but the pellets were smaller than the ones that our Department decided to order, this year. Just an FYI. Good luck with your dissection!!!! Thank-you so much for your inspiration, creative website and generosity in sharing your wonderful teaching ideas!!!!! It's a gift for all educators!!!! (Please excuse any typos or misspellings.) If you have any questions, please let me know:

  20. Caryn says:

    We decided to do our owl pellet dissection on Halloween, AFTER the parade, party, sugar-rush etc. It was the perfect way to keep their minds off of trick-or-treating. Thank you for sharing your files!

  21. Sue Cahalane says:

    Hi Kristen! I started using Perfect Pellets from Fisher Scientific – they're great! There is a complete PLASTIC skeleton in every owl pellet. They look exactly like real owl pellets but they are not real, Fisher makes them in their labs. Less mess, no smell, less confusing skeletal parts all over the place! My students love this lab! I just started my science teacher blog, stop by if you get a chance, I'll be posting everything we do in lab!
    I love your blog, your tutorials are fantastic!
    Science for Kids Blog

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